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More New Net Announcements

Last week we wrote about a couple of new programs that were announced for the Mactivity show down in San Jose last week. That was just the tip of the iceberg, though, and we’ve looked at a number of other announcements in the meantime.

LogDoor Clarification — First, a clarification from last week. I implied that LogDoor, from Open Door Networks, only worked with the company’s HomeDoor product. That’s not so; LogDoor works with any WebSTAR server to provide real-time logs. If you use HomeDoor, LogDoor can provide statistics on the different sites you support; if you don’t run HomeDoor, LogDoor works equally well at providing the real-time statistics for individual folders within your WebSTAR hierarchy.


Sonic Servers — Sonic Systems introduced a suite of Internet servers that you can use together or separately. The suite includes an email server, an FTP server, a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server, a DNS server, and a Web server, all of which you configure and manage via a single program called InterManage that works over a network or the Internet. The email server supports SMTP and POP3, APOP security, and mail forwarding, and provides another mail server alternative besides Apple Internet Mail Server and CommuniGate. The FTP server can handle multiple simultaneous users and uses System 7 Users & Groups to define access restrictions. It supports BinHex and MacBinary file transfers and can resolve aliases. The DHCP server dynamically assigns IP numbers and other configuration information to Macs (running Open Transport), Windows 95, Windows NT, and Unix client machines. The DNS server, providing competition for QuickDNS Pro, MacDNS, and NonSequitur, supports load balancing and can act as either a primary or secondary name server. Finally, the Web server claims to be able to handle an unlimited number of simultaneous hits, has built-in security, and supports all current Macintosh CGIs. The first server costs $495, with each additional server costing $199.


Village Compass Bundle — Not to be upstaged by Sonic’s suite of Internet servers, a group of developers has banded together to offer a large number of Internet server-related programs at the significant discount of $1,475 (street price of the separate programs would be about $3,800). In addition, the group offers discounts on some additional, less-essential programs that customers might want.

The bundle centers around MDG Computer Service’s just-released 4th Dimension-based Web server, Web Server 4D 1.0.1 and includes eighteen programs with discounts on seven additional programs. See the URL below for a complete list.

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The Village Compass Bundle is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, the pricing is only good for a few weeks. At that point, the bundle will be re-evaluated and adjusted. The second round of bundle will debut at Macworld Boston and sell through 01-Dec-96, and a third round is slated to appear on 02-Jan-97. The goal of these short availabilities is to adjust for the constantly changing Internet server market. Second, three of the optional programs, DNEWS for NT (a Mac version is in progress), NTMail, and NTList, require Windows NT, whereas the rest of the bundle is all Macintosh-based.


Web Paging — Mark/Space Softworks released PageNOW/Web, a Web interface to alphanumeric pagers. The $695 PageNOW/Web requires a Web server and PageNOW Workgroup or Enterprise Edition, and enables anyone to visit a URL, pick a recipient, and type in a message to be sent to that recipient’s pager. You probably wouldn’t want to make the access page available to the world, but it’s a great interface to pagers that users can access from anywhere on the Internet.


More Web Servers — Quarterdeck’s WebSTAR may be the most popular Macintosh Web server, but the release of MDG’s Web Server 4D and now ResNova’s Boulevard and PWS show that other companies haven’t conceded the market. The $395 Boulevard and $39 PWS share many features, including CGI and ACGI support, WebSTAR API support for WebSTAR plug-ins, built-in image map handling, and automatic form processing. Boulevard adds high-end features, such a three-tiered caching scheme for high performance, activity graphs, remote monitoring and configuration, and a setup assistant. PWS, in contrast, concentrates on personal Web server features, such as a simple control panel interface, a personalized home page that doesn’t require knowing HTML, on-the-fly styled text to HTML conversion, and a message box where visitors can leave messages for the owner. PWS is optimized to run in the background and use relatively little memory, which makes it a step in the direction I outlined in my article about personal Web servers in TidBITS-316.



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